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www.wmfd.com - Crisp, juicy apples and sweet, plump grapes, that's what growers in Iowa say is in store for the September harvest. }}" />

   
 
 
Iowa Growers Say It's A Good Year For Apples And Grapes

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 9/1/2013 Crisp, juicy apples and sweet, plump grapes. That's what growers in Iowa say is in store for the September harvest. It's a far cry from last year when much of their crop was destroyed. As Eric Hanson reports, growers are crediting the weather for this year's turn of events. In Iowa's corn and soybean fields, billions of bushels could use a drink before harvest. But just down the road... "There's a bushel of apples right there," says Rick Motzko of Happy Apple Orchards. "There's 40 pounds hanging on this branch." Motzko's bushels are doing so good, they're bending his branches. "We're real happy with the way it's going," he says. Happy Apple's red trees are loaded down and the yellow ones are growing just as fast. A crop they needed after last year when a freeze killed all but about 10-percent of the crop. A few nice rains the next few weeks would still help. "Swell the fruit with more juices, more flavor," says Motzko. "It makes it better all the way around for eating, for cooking and for having fun with." But they're, appropriately, happy. "Well actually, it's been good," Motzko says. Just like Jean Groben at Jasper Winery, who says Iowa's reds and whites are also liking what Mother Nature's giving us. "And so this dryness is making the sugar levels of the grapes come up, which we want," she says. "That's called the bricks and then the acid levels go down." They, and several other wineries, will start picking next week. And, unlike last year's crop that was half-normal, they're expecting plenty of grapes this year. "I think this year's going to be great," says Groben. "There's going to be a lot of grapes." Whatever you're growing, harvest season's busy. "So it;s kind of a high stress level, but it's really a lot of excitement," Groben says. But they'll pick a busy bumper crop over a bummer of a crop every year. "These trees are built to be solid and hence, that way they hold this fruit," says Motzko. Apple producers say a half-inch or rain a week would just make their apples that much bigger by their mid-September harvest. Grape growers say the only thing that could be better is a little less humidity, otherwise, they're set to make a lot of wine.
   
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